George Sprague to Ruth Fletcher, 1840 November 1

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Craftsbury Nov. 1st 1840Mrs R. A. Fletcher

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I have been a little surprised at not hearing from you-and yet my surprise has abated in some measure when I think of the connecting circumstances-Perhaps you have not recd. my letter dated I believe about the 18th of Sept. last- If you have not recd. the letter, that will at once account for my not receiving any from you, and presuming that is the fact is one principle reason why I shall trouble you with a few lines at this time-

About the 17th day of Sept if I am not mistaken Mrs. Ellenwood & Mrs Wyatt came here and wished to take Mary away from Mercy and carry her to Canada to live with Mrs Wyatt and go to school- I did not know what to do about giving my consent to have her go upon any terms. I knew nothing of the character or ability of Mrs. W- Mercy was all in favor of the project and I consented that she might take her upon the following conditions- That she should carry Mary down to you and if you thought it best for her to go whe might take her if she would keep her and school her all the time until I should see fit to call for her- provide her with clothes and all necessaries and send her back here free of expence when I saw fit to send for her and Mrs Ellenwood to be surety that these terms should be strictly complied with. With these conditions they seemed well pleased and I wrote a letter to you stating the facts which letter they were to deliver to you and Mrs W. professed to have no fears about your giving your consent- in which letter I requested you to write me immediately the result and in case you did not give your consent I requested you to keep Mary untill I called for her- you perceive that I have written much here that I might omit in case you have recd. the letter- Before the said Ladies left town Mrs Wyatt told me she rather thought she should not take Mary because Mercy had got a promise from her to bring Mary back or let her move her when she should call for her- and She might not be able to comply with Mercy's order and the conditions upon which she obtained my consent- and the next move was that Mary should be permitted to visit Johnson- this I could not deny in reason for a Great Aunt wanted to see her and they agreed that you should be informed of Mary's being there, and that you would take her from there when she had made a Visit- all this you perhaps know & perhaps not. for Mrs Wyatt took charge of the letter and agreed in case she did not visit you in person to leave the letter in your neighborhood where you would soon get it- Well the case stands thus I have not heard from you- but have learned that Mrs Ellenwood, Mrs Wyatt, Great Aunt [Mildren] started for canada about the 22nd or 23rd day of [   ]- that the Select Men of Johnson told Mrs Ellenwood that she was the only legal guardian of the children and that my consent or authority was nothing worth- that it was her duty to see to and provide for the children-If this is the case-Why does she not see to the property here belonging to the children - It would relieve me of a great [burden] for I am tugging along with all my might to save the farm for them-

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Now I do not think that I should be in danger of an indictment or suit for a Libel if I should say that I think Mrs E. a verry curious old Lady- and if I have not some curious spirits to deal with I am no judge. thats all [If] Mrs. W has complied with the conditions and obtained your consent I have no fault to find this far- if not there may be a reckning day.

Will you be so good as to write and let me know what you think of all these things- If the probability is that the children are doing well then, let them stay- they are at no expence to the estate- The Real Estate is not to be sold at least for the present, I have given Bonds to the Probate Court for the pay ment of all the debts which the personall property is insufficient to pay. and have taken the farm into my hands- The Bona requires that I shall pay [  ] demands by the 21st day of Oct next-

The widow has an interest for life in the use of 79 dollars in the real Estate- If I can I intend to purchase that interest for the children and unless should soon be a good chance to better the interest of the children by selling the farm- I intend to rent it for 5 years & apply the rent to the payment of the debts- If the children should not require any of the rent for some time to come for their support, and creditors will do as they would wish to be done by- or I can hire the money- I am in hopes to save the farm for the children- The amount required of me will probably not exceed $100- exclusive of the widow's dower-

I wish you to of your Sister Lydia if she is willing and can postpone the payment of her account-for any length of time and let me know the result as soon as convenient- I wish to settle up the debts, or as many as will amount to the sum for which I am bound to answer, previous to Jan.y. next to prevent the cost of a dividend, which would be ordered by the court, of the money avails of the personal Property- the remainder cannot be claimed until Oct. next, but it will save considerable cost to have the estate closed in Jany next-

An Auction for the sale of the remainder of the personal property is to be held by the Administrator on Tuesday the 10th of Novr. next- The Mare, Harness, Sliegh, Stoves- table- Lights and Chairs [    ]Ware [       ] remain unsold to the amount upon the appraising Bill of $127-

We all enjoy about our usual health- Martha's health is poor yet but manages to do her house work & has almost done her weaving- one piece of some 16 yards just going into the loom Winds the weaving concern for this fall- I do not think of any news-

My Best Respects to you all- Please give us a call as soon as convenient-

Yours verry Respectfully[Geo. Sprague]


Mr. Andrew FletcherWatervilleVt.Craftsbury VtNov 4